Are you looking to make your mobile content marketing efforts more effective? Here’s a simple tip: Start with your navigation.
Yes, site/content navigation, often an afterthought, is one of the most important elements of any mobile offering. Why? Simply put: If people can’t find your content, they can’t engage with it.
So where should you begin with revamping your navigation to make it mobile-friendly? Here are three steps to get you started:
Step 1: Make Sure Your Main Navigation Is Accessible – At a bare minimum your primary navigation should be able to be accessed and engaged with on a mobile device.
While that may seem obvious, it is still forgotten by many publishers. Remember: Those long top navigation bars that display beautifully in a desktop/laptop browser can become too tiny to click on with a small mobile browser; Flash does not display on many mobile devices; and pop-ups that are easily closed on computers often destroy access to navigation on mobile.
Step 2: Develop a Mobile-Friendly Main Navigation – Beyond being merely accessible, your main navigation also needs to be mobile-friendly.
This means a two things: First, you should have primary navigation that displays differently on mobile and desktop browsers. This can be done via a dedicated mobile site or, ideally, via the more elegant solution of a responsive design that adjusts based on device/screen size.
Second, you should choose exactly where and how the main navigation is displayed on mobile. There are dozens of possibilities, from scrolling menus anchored at the top/bottom of a page to pop-out lists on the side. Your solution will probably vary depending on what you want to highlight and how many items you have.
Step 3: Optimize All Interactions for Mobile – OK, now comes the fun part (seriously). The great thing about mobile navigation is that it doesn’t have to mimic desktop navigation. In particular, touch-screens open up a new world of interactions.
Make sure to take advantage of the device hardware (touchscreen) with your all your navigational elements. This means not only making it easier to select content by touch, but allowing users to move from one piece to another by swiping and scrolling.
If your offerings are optimized properly for mobile the user should never even notice. Instead, the experience should feel intuitive: they will naturally click, swipe, and scroll without a thought, ultimately paying attention to your content, not the navigation.